What age is considered a minor in Canada?
- Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan (under 18 years of age).
- British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Yukon (under 19 years of age).
Effective August 1, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has changed its definition of a dependent child for its immigration programs. A dependent child must be under 19 years of age, instead of the previous limit of under 22 years of age.
Persons under 18 years of age must have their own passports; they cannot use the passport of their parents even if their details are endorsed in that passport. Minors must apply for a study permit if they want to study in Canada.
If a minor child is travelling alone:
If the child is travelling alone, the child should have a copy of his/her birth certificate as well as a letter of authorization, preferably in English or French, signed by both parents or by his/her legal guardian. The letter of authorization should give the parents’ (or legal guardian’s) address(es) and telephone number(s). It should also include the name, address and telephone number of the adult who will be responsible for the child in Canada.
If a minor child is travelling with one parent only:
The child should have a copy of his/her birth certificate as well as a letter of authorization, preferably in English or French, signed by the parent who is not travelling with him. The letter of authorization should give the address and telephone number of the non-accompanying parent. A photocopy of the passport or national identity card of the non-accompanying parent, with the bearer’s signature, should be attached.
- Immigration Officers are particularly vigilant about missing or runaway children. They may question you about children who accompany you to Canada or question a child traveling alone.
- If the parents are separated or divorced, and they share custody of the child, the parent travelling with the child should carry copies of the legal custody documents. It is also recommended that they have a letter of authorization from the other custodial parent to take the child on a trip out of the country.
- If the parents are separated or divorced and one of them has sole custody of the child, the letter of authorization may be signed by that parent only and a copy of the custody decree presented.
If one of the child’s parents is deceased, a copy of the death certificate should be presented.
Child Studying in Canada
What documents to bring to study in Canada
In addition to the documents needed to enter Canada, a minor will need additional documents if he/she is less than 17 years of age and comes to Canada to study without a parent or legal guardian. The minor must be cared for by a responsible adult in Canada. This person is known as a custodian.
In some cases, a custodian may also be needed for minor children between 17 years of age and the age of majority in the province or territory of the educational institution where they intend to study. This will be at the discretion of an immigration officer.
A minor will need two notarized documents to study in Canada
- A notarized document is a document that has been certified by a notary.
- The first notarized document must be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the minor child in the child’s country of origin.
- The second notarized document must be signed by the custodian in Canada.
- Custodianship requires that legal arrangements be made to give the custodian in Canada permission to act in place of a parent.
- An immigration officer must be satisfied that adequate arrangements have been made for the care and support of minor children who travel to Canada to study.
Length of time a study permit is valid
- For minor children in grades 1 through 8, the study permit is normally valid for one year.
- For minor children in grades 9 through 12, or attending a post-secondary institution, the study permit is normally valid for the length of time of studies, plus 90 days.
- For minor children attending a post-secondary institution, the study permit is normally valid for the length of time of studies, plus 90 days
- For minor children studying in Quebec, the study permit is valid for the same length of time as their CAQ. (In Quebec, minors travelling alone need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) to study.)
- If a minor child is with parents who have long-term study or work permits, the child’s study permit should be valid for the same length of time as:
- the parents’ permits;
- the child’s passport if it expires before the parents’ permits; or
- the CAQ, if studying in Quebec.
Exceptions: Studying without a study permit
In some cases, minor children do not need a study permit to study in Canada. These cases include:
- minor children attending kindergarten;
- minor children who are refugees or refugee claimants, or whose parents are refugees or refugee claimants; and
- minor children who are already in Canada with parents who are allowed to work or study in Canada, and who want to attend pre-school, primary or secondary school.
Having an Adult Birthday while in Canada
When minor children studying in Canada without a permit reach the age of majority (turn 18 or 19 depending on the province or territory), they must apply for a permit if they want to continue studying.
Links to Related Information:
- Canada Visa – General Information
- Family Visitor Visa for Canada
- Student Visa for Canada
- Work Visa for Canada
Embassy Contact Information:
Contact the nearest Embassy / Consulate for Canada for the most up-to-date information on what documentation you specifically may require to enter Canada.
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Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and copyright owner/s is the:
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada – URL: cic.gc.ca
The viewer/user of this web page should use the above information as a guideline only, and should always contact the above sources or the user’s own government representatives for the most up-to-date information at that moment in time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.